PERFORMANCE OF SWEET PEPPER (Capsicum Annuum L.) VARIETIES AS INFLUENCED BY NITROGEN AND POULTRY MANURE FERTILIZATION IN THE SUDAN SAVANNA
Two field experiments were conducted during the 2011/2012 dry season at the Irrigation Research Station (IRS) of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Kadawa and Kadawa Village, Kano State. Treatment evaluated consisted of two varieties of sweet pepper (California Wonder and Tattasai Dan-Garko), three nitrogen rates (50, 75 and 100 kg N ha-1) and three poultry manure rates (0, 3 and 6 t ha-1) which were factorially combined and laid in a randomized complete block design (RCBD), replicated three times. It was observed that California Wonder had higher leaf area index (3.03) fruit diameter (5.00, 4.70 cm) and fresh fruit weight (8307.60 kg ha-1) than Tattasai Dan-Garko (2.14), (4.13, 4.20) and (6380.8 kg ha-1). Growth and yield characters such as crop growth rate (8.30 and 8.01g/week) in both sites, plant height (17.70 cm) and fresh fruit weight (7535.70, 7544.1 kg ha- ) in Kadawa Village and combined, while number of fruits per plant (10.00) in Kadawa Station were significantly influenced by application of 75 kg N ha-1. Fruit length, number of branches and leaves, number of days to 50% flowering and net assimilatory rate were not significantly influenced by varying nitrogen rates. Three tons per hectare of poultry manure had a significant effect on pepper fruit length (6.64 cm) and other growth characters such as leaf area index (4.81, 5.34) in both location, plant height (24.31 cm) and crop growth rate (8.90 g/week) in Kadawa Village. Interactions between nitrogen and variety, poultry manure and variety gave taller plants (26.11 cm) at 8 WAT at Kadawa Station and application of 3 t ha-1 of poultry manure gave higher yield of pepper (8395.15 and 7436.79 kg ha- ) combined data at Kadawa Village. Regression analysis showed that the optimum rates of nitrogen for sweet pepper were (78.90 and 88.49 kg N ha-1) and yield (7930.60 and 9601.02 kg ha-1) for California Wonder variety in both sites. While for Tattasai Dan-Garko the optimum nitrogen rates were (78.04 kg N ha- and 92.32 kg N ha-1) in the two locations. Poultry manure when regressed against pepper yield gave an optimum of (4.33, 4.00 t ha-1) and yield (9848.43, 7928.8 kg ha-1) with California Wonder variety. For Tattasai Dan-Garko optimum poultry manure of (3.04, 4.0 t ha-1) gave a yield of (8384.66, 7397.4 kg ha-1) at both sites. From the study, it could be suggested that a farmer may use California Wonder variety with application of 78.90 kg N ha-1 and 4.00 t ha-1 poultry manure rates in Sudan savannah ecological zone.